European Communications

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Amway leverages Sybase 365 across Europe

Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, the specialist in the delivery and settlement of messaging interoperability as well as the management and distribution of mobile content, has announced a partnership with Amway to launch targeted, timely, and cost-saving SMS communication for Amway‘s entire European sales force.

As one of the largest direct selling companies in the world, Amway maintains an extensive network of independent business partners. The company needed to find a cost-effective and efficient way to provide sales partners with news and important business information in real-time.  With 100 percent of its independent business partners owning a mobile phone, making them accessible throughout Europe, SMS is the perfect medium for fast and efficient communication.

“Our business partners tend to be out of the office all day meeting customers, making email communication ineffective,” says Matthias Berquet, Area Manager Service Development, Amway.  “Furthermore, BlackBerries and other devices are more expensive than the mobile phone.”

Via SMS, Amway can quickly inform all business partners that a certain product is on offer, that new goods have been delivered, or that a shipment has been delayed at customs.

“Customer satisfaction is Amway‘s top priority,” says Berquet.  “Smooth communication and a continuous flow of information are key factors.  If our independent business partners know about our most recent offers, they are able to fulfil their customers’ needs quickly and efficiently, boosting customer satisfaction and improving business relations.”

Amway wanted to find a mobile services provider who could guarantee superior reliability and network interoperability while offering quality customer support. After a thorough market evaluation, Amway chose Sybase 365 because of its highly-available, fully redundant network, ensuring that all messages are reliably delivered. In addition, Sybase 365 offers extensive global experience, with a customer base of more than 1000 brands worldwide.

“Sybase 365 offers a first-class technical infrastructure, as well as excellent services and support. The Web-based interface is very user-friendly and self-explanatory,” says Berquet. “For 2008, we plan to roll out further interactive customer communication via SMS with the help of Sybase 365.”

“Using SMS is no longer simply a vehicle for teenagers to download ringtones and wallpaper, “said Klaus Jansen-Knor, country manager, Central and Eastern Europe, Sybase 365. “More and more businesses around the world are recognizing the value of SMS as an effective communication tool. Not only is it easy to use, but just about everyone knows how to send and receive an SMS, making it an ideal medium for business communication.”

Thomson helps in DVB-H pilot launch

Thomson has contributed to the DVB-H pilot launch completed by leading broadcast service provider Antenna and T-Mobile Hungary, Hungary’s largest mobile operator, T-Mobile Hungary and Antenna Hungária used Thomson’s Mobile TV head-end and SmartVision interactive service platform.

During the pilot launch, four live national TV channels with secure conditional access from Irdeto were broadcast to mobile phones, delivering high quality video experience to Hungarian customers.

The DVB-H trial used Thomson Argos Mobile TV encoders, Opal DVB-H IP encapsulator and SmartVision service platform for the management of advanced Electronic Service Guide and convergent services. 

“Antenna Hungária, a nationwide provider of terrestrial TV and radio in Hungary, is actively involved in the mobile TV trial,” said András Tóth, Director of Communications and Marketing for Antenna Hungária, “We chose Thomson's mobile TV solutions as they offer a complete range of management and delivery systems which have been successfully implemented in other nationwide projects.”

“Central and Eastern Europe are growing markets for mobile phone subscriptions,” said Frédéric Caussarieu, GM of the Network Intelligence Solutions business unit within Thomson. “By offering attractive new services such as mobile TV, combined with revenue generating interactive features, mobile operators can augment their subscriber databases and ARPU.  Our experience in providing mobile TV solutions to broadcasters and mobile operators is key to our success. Thomson's systems are used in 70 % of mobile TV trials and 50 % of commercial services in the world.”

Cardiff University secures the UK's largest wireless LAN infrastructure with AirDefense & RM

AirDefense has announced that its enterprise security product is being deployed by Cardiff University to secure  the largest Wireless LAN so far built in the UK. The contract to build the network was awarded to RM the leading supplier of ICT to the UK education market. Just like any wired network, a WLAN at requires a comprehensive security solution to guard against intruders and hackers and AirDefense was chosen to defend Cardiff's WLAN after rigorous testing.

The wireless network will cover 66 buildings across three square miles. It will include over 1,300 Access Points and cater for 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and visiting guests. The goals of the University are to ensure maximum wireless coverage by expanding the existing wireless capability for the whole campus and outlying peripheral sites. In addition, it has to help realise the goals of the Modern Working Environment project that is the core of the university's Information Services Strategy for the future.  "We want to enhance the wireless networking service as much as possible, to improve the users experience and to ensure the service is as robust, resilient and as secure as possible with the least amount of Man effort for ongoing management," said Anthony Cope IT Manager Cardiff University. The required defenses for a WLAN's are different from a wired network because the vulnerabilities are in the air. The airwaves surrounding the Cardiff WLAN will be constantly monitored by AirDefense Enterprise to ensure the security of the network at the university.

"We are delighted to be working with the IT team at Cardiff University to provide a comprehensive networking solution" Said Brian Andrews of RM. "The complexity of the site means we had to design and build and secure a wireless network for buildings of diverse design and structure that would be world class and fully scalable and provide networking services to wireless devices of varying types".

The need for a university to plan for full capacity at times when the campus is densely populated and empty at others, as well as maintaining a high quality of service, by tailoring the network response to application requirements, means that the university had to deploy a centrally managed management platform that does not take up too much time for the IT staff. The platform chosen was Ringmaster from Trapeze because of the ease of use. The ease of support and troubleshooting were major consideration when designing the network. 

"Being chosen to secure such a large wireless network demonstrates that AirDefense has become the technology of choice " said Anthnoy Perridge VP EMEA for Airdefense. "With limited time and resource availble to manage such a large network and thousands of devices in the air, accurate detection, and policy based threat mitigation is essential.
Delivering the lowest total cost of ownership means that the University can focus on delivering service to their users. "

KPN and Atos Origin reinforce collaboration and renew outsourcing agreements

KPN and Atos Origin, an international IT services company, have signed Heads of Agreement and Letters of Intent redefining their relationship in The Netherlands in order to reflect the changes in KPN’s strategy.  Atos Origin will continue to deliver most of the current services to KPN and the contracts will be extended with a minimum duration of 3 years. The relationships with E-Plus in Germany and BASE in Belgium are not altered by the new agreements and remain in place.

Atos Origin and KPN have an extensive outsourcing and IT services relationship dating back to 2001. Atos Origin performs datacenter services, end user services, system integration services, consultancy and application maintenance services for KPN in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Atos Origin and KPN have agreed that Atos Origin will continue to perform application maintenance and enhancement services for KPN on the current application portfolio. KPN has selected Atos Origin as its sole System Integrator for Enterprise Application Integration and for Delivery Orchestration.

Atos Origin and KPN will continue their day to day collaboration for datacenter services as usual. Since it is now KPN's strategy to be a leading supplier in the Dutch market for infrastructural services including housing and hosting, Atos Origin will transfer three of its six datacenter sites in the Netherlands back to KPN. The transfer is in line with Atos Origin’s datacenter strategy, aiming to consolidate its existing datacenters into high availability main sites in the Netherlands and other key countries. The agreement with KPN will have no impact for Atos Origin customers whose high level services will continue to be delivered by Atos Origin.

KPN has also entered the market for workspace services. A logical consequence of this strategy is that Atos Origin and KPN have agreed that, after a period of transition, KPN will insource end user services currently provided by Atos Origin.

The new agreements do not cause any transfer of personnel between the two companies and no restructuring consequences on Atos Origin employees thanks to the continued datacenter services to KPN and increased demand with other customers.

“KPN is a very different company from what it was in 2001. We are pleased that we have found a way to continue our longstanding relationship with Atos Origin and at the same time expand our capabilities as an ICT services supplier in The Netherlands” says Marcel Smits, CFO of KPN. “We are looking forward to a renewed and invigorated relationship with Atos Origin.”

“These agreements show that we are capable of building long-term relationships that span several outsourcing cycles. Releasing control over 3 of our 6 datacenters in The Netherlands fits well with our 3O3 transformation plan.” comments Wilbert Kieboom, Senior Executive Vice President Operations at Atos Origin. KPN has been and will continue to be one of our largest accounts. The telecommunications industry is one of our key industry markets and the Netherlands is one of our largest geographical markets. We will continue to leverage our relationship with KPN in these markets.”

Siemens selected for Europe's largest private managed IP network

Siemens Enterprise Communications has announced today that it has been selected by Global Crossing to provide the open communications technology behind Europe's largest private managed IP communications network.

OGCbuying.solutions has extended Global Crossing's existing Managed Telephony  Service (Mts) to 125,000 UK public servants across 600 locations until December 2011. A key enabler of the Government's shared service agenda; Mts applies advanced communications technology to achieve more efficient use of public funds. Siemens' open communications technology is a critical part of the infrastructure underpinning new ways of working.

Global Crossing is partnering with Siemens for a hosted IP telephony service delivering pan-governmental collaboration and messaging services. The services are based on a managed implementation of Siemens HiPath 8000 platform plus its OpenScape unified communications application.

The contract calls for HiPath 8000 and OpenScape to be EAL2 security accredited, providing assurance for "restricted" communications. The open standards infrastructure will allow adoption of full unified communications across the whole of government at a pace that meets the needs of individual departments.

"This is flexible working in practice - on a massive scale," said David Leighton, director public sector at Siemens Enterprise Communications. "Government departments can access a simple, seamless communications experience that brings together every important business communications method, from voice and email to IM and video.  Cross-governmental collaboration efforts will be underpinned by presence and preference-based functionality, delivering enhanced productivity. This arguably puts the public sector ahead of the private sector in the wide-scale adoption of unified communications."

Anthony Christie, managing director UK and Europe, Global Crossing said, "Bringing together our two companies' expertise has enabled us to create a service that will transform the way that government departments work in the future.  With a strong focus on creating efficiencies and supporting a completely secure and flexible working environment, this agreement includes migration capability to a full suite of advanced IP services which will allow government users access to one of the largest managed IP network services in Europe."

cVidya Networks launches KPIMap

cVidya Networks, the specialist in Telecom Data Integrity and Revenue Assurance Systems, has announced that it has launched KPIMap, a monitoring and operational tool for Revenue Assurance operations among communications service providers. cVidya's KPIMap offers pre-packaged best practice KPIs’ which provide monitoring on strategic, tactical and operational levels. By analyzing this information KPIMap also contributes to a better understanding and smoother management of operational and business-level objectives, setting medium and long term Revenue Assurance goals for the organization.

With the launch of its KPIMap, currently deployed with a major European carrier. cVidya is the first vendor to implement the Revenue Assurance KPI standardization initiative, in addition to being the leader of the TMF’s Revenue Assurance team that developed this initiative.  The Revenue Assurance Standard KPI functionality recently was further validated in the TeleManagement Forum's Catalyst project on Revenue Assurance Standard KPIs, in which cVidya lead a group of operators and vendors demonstrating the standard KPI’s benefits.
 
"We are proud to lead the way in implementing these standards in the Revenue Assurance field," commented Alon Aginsky, CEO at cVidya Networks.  "As RA operations are becoming increasingly complex in today's competitive environment, solution vendors can offer a very high-value contribution by making these operations easier to manage and increasing overall efficiency and profitability among communications service providers."
 
cVidya's KPIMap is a KPI modeling tool which features operational and monitoring capabilities to enable operators to better manage all aspects of their Revenue Assurance operations and understand the impact on overall business performance. KPIMap® builds on existing Revenue Assurance capabilities through a strong coupling with MoneyMap®, as well as passive and active data collection from existing Revenue Assurance platforms  installed in the organization and other OSS and BSS systems integrated with Revenue Assurance operations.

Subex Azure wins Fraud Management contract with Melita Cable

Subex Azure, a leading global provider of OSS solutions for telecom operators, today announced it is deploying its Fraud Management bureau for Melita Cable, Malta's primary cable television and internet service provider.

Melita is the first 'triple-play' (internet, TV and telephony) operator in Malta, providing services to more than 100,000 subscribers.  As the company and its number of services continue to grow, Melita is keen to ensure that it is protecting its revenues effectively.

Subex Azure was chosen after impressing Melita with its Fraud Management bureau implementation at UPC (United Pan-European Communications). The bureau is a unique offering in the revenue maximization space and is ideal for growing operators as it provides them with leading-edge fraud management capability without large up-front costs.

The Subex Azure Fraud Management bureau uses flexible rules-based alarms and fingerprint pattern matching to identify likely fraudulent usage, enabling operators to detect known fraud types and patterns of unusual behaviour in all telecoms environments - wireline (PSTN, ISP, VOIP), wireless (2G, 2.5G, 3G) and across all services (postpaid, prepaid, VAS, MMS, m-commerce).

George Galea, Manager of IT and Data Services, Melita Cable, said: "We have chosen Subex Azure's Fraud Management bureau as it is a cost-effective and scaleable solution that can grow in line with our subscriber and network traffic volume.  By ensuring we are protecting our revenues we can continue to offer innovative communication services to our customers."

Saul Nurtman, President EMEA, Subex Azure Limited, said: "We are delighted to be working with Melita Cable.  This is a great example of how our bureau service can provide smaller growing operators with world-class fraud management capability without the pressures of large capital and operational expenditure."

Viacom's BET Networks continues global expansion with a new Internet video initiative in the United Kingdom

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc , and Brightcove, the leading Internet TV service, have announced a partnership to distribute ad-supported Internet video channels in the United Kingdom. BET Networks is the leading provider of media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture globally.

Through its partnership with Brightcove, BET International will extend the distribution of its compelling content -- including entertainment, music and celebrity programming -- to online audiences in the UK via the new Internet video site, BETonBlast.co.uk. BET will also take advantage of Brightcove's viral promotion features to enable consumers to share and embed BET Internet video content on websites, blogs and social networks in the UK. All Internet video channels will also offer online advertising opportunities sold by Viacom Brand Solutions in the UK.

"We're excited to continue building the BET brand around the world, and with the launch of our beta broadband site in the UK, users can get an early taste of our forthcoming multiplatform offering that's set to debut later this year," said Michael D. Armstrong, BET International Senior Vice President and General Manager. "We're also looking forward to working with Brightcove, whose technology allows us to tap into the power of Internet video, while maintaining control over the quality of the viewing experience and the revenue potential of our video content."

BETonBlast.co.uk, set to launch later this summer, will include content focused on the most popular Black music, lifestyle, news, fashion, entertainment and community issues of the day.

"BET is one of the most popular cable networks in the United States with a programming line-up that has strong worldwide appeal," said Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brightcove. "We are thrilled to be working with BET and chosen as the Internet video platform for their expansion into Europe."

Ericsson has signed the first GPON contract in Europe with CYTA in Cyprus

Ericsson and CYTA, the leading operator in Cyprus, have signed a contract for a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network based on Ericsson's GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) solution.

CYTA has started to provide advanced broadband services, such as High Definition TV (up to two channels per home), games, on-demand services, Voice over IP (VoIP) while there is also the option of Surveillance and Security services.

Nikos Timotheou, CEO, CYTA, says: "With this pilot project, CYTA proves once again its commitment to offer high quality broadband services to our customers, using innovative technology. In this effort, Ericsson, with their leading global experience and expertise combined with their local commitment, is our valuable partner."

Spyros Nikolaou, Country Manager Ericsson Greece, Cyprus, Albania & Malta says: "This agreement confirms Ericsson as partner of choice for CYTA to provide users innovative services to any device, anywhere and with the maximum convenience. We are proud to be the partner, providing solutions that support a Full Service Broadband strategy, today and in the future. "

The contract includes delivery of central office optical equipment and devices for the homes, EDA1200 and EDA1500, and passive infrastructure such as fiber systems and cables. Apart from the GPON network (point-to-multipoint configuration), the pilot project includes also a point-to-point network, using Ericsson's equipment (switches and CPEs)

The contract also encompasses a comprehensive portfolio of Services, such as education and knowledge transfer, business consultancy, network design and supervision.